(Photo by Aidan Un)
I’ve spent the last six months of my life pouring my heart into Met, an iOS app that the Ticketleap Labs team is building. In March, we decided — on a somewhat last-minute whim — that we’d soft launch Met at Philly Tech Week. And, here’s the thing: it didn’t go the way we wanted it to. We had delusions of grandeur: Met would take root here in Philly and then take off. We’re entrepreneurs, after all.
Well, it didn’t take off.
Let’s back up a sec. When we decided to soft launch at PTW, we weren’t at all certain that the app was ready. But Met’s purpose in life is to help teams rally around the work they do offline, connecting with other humans the old fashioned way: face to face. And that’s what PTW is all about. So we battened down the hatches, took a deep breath and submitted to the App Store.
And we’re so glad we did. Met may not have taken off. We didn’t get what we wanted. But we got exactly what we needed.
Great products aren’t built overnight. They evolve out of a long process of trying things, failing and trying again. If you can’t nail the learning/improving cycle, you’ve got nothing. By launching at PTW, we learned what was working and what wasn’t. What parts of Met to keep and what parts to rethink.
The Philly tech community is amazing right now. It’s hard to believe that five years ago, when I moved back to Philly from Silicon Valley, it was largely invisible. Technical.ly was just barely a thing back then. Today, thousands of people show up to PTW events — to learn about each other and support each other.
It’s a well-accepted truism that proximity to a network of valuable people is a huge asset for a startup. Typically, this prefaces a recommendation to relocate to Silicon Valley. But so often the most valuable type of person is an engaged beta user. This is why Airbnb’s cofounders’ trips to New York — where their earliest customers lived — likely saved their company. Lucky for us, many of our earliest customers live here in Philly. So we’re taking what we learned during PTW15 and remaking Met. In the coming months, we will start to roll out Met V2 so we can continue to learn.
And we’ll do it, just like we did with V1, right here in the City of Brotherly Love.
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